When the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) seized and took down 81 domains in November during a raid against alleged copyright infringing websites, Waleed Gadelkareem’s life was turned upside-down as his popular Bit-Torrent search engine, Torrent-Finder.com, was caught up in the mix.
Now, just one month later, things are running pretty smoothly for Waleed and Torrent-Finder, thanks to a great deal of perseverance on his part and a little help from Google Webmaster Tools.
Waleed already owned a .INFO domain as an alternative to his .COM in case something like this domain seizure should occur, however, all of the search engine optimization work for Torrent-Finder was based upon the .COM domain. This initially cut the sites traffic by 90% once Waleed was able to get the site running on the .INFO domain, but since most of the sites traffic came from Google, a simple change of address in the search engines Webmaster Tools, along with a little legwork was enough to get things going in the right direction, reports TorrentFreak.
“Google webmaster tools are very important for any website’s SEO and I had already registered torrent-finder.com on my cpanel and confirmed ownership,” Waleed explained. “Then I had to direct all linkbacks to the new .info domain by contacting webmasters or changing it by myself if I could. You can see the result on Google analytics of search engine traffic.”
“Slowly Torrent Finder is getting back most of the indexed pages that we used to have on Google, and of course the targeted keywords,” adds Waleed.
While attempting to build his site traffic back to pre-seizure levels, Waleed is also continuing his legal pursuit against the ICE in hopes of finally seeing some justice in light of the questionable way this situation was handled by the US government.
It’s good to see Waleed making a comeback from this unfortunate situation but, as TorrentFreak points out, the speed at which he’s recovering serves to highlight the futility of these types of government actions in their attempts to stamp out piracy. Chances are good that the sites that were shut down for selling counterfeit merchandise are coming back just as quickly, using their own alternative domain names.